Posts tagged with 'technology'

Instructions for allies


Did Google cave to pressure to change search results for “Santorum?”

The back story: Long ago, when Rick Santorum was campaigning and working on several extremely socially conservative agendas in Pennsylvania, advice columnist Dan Savage launched a (pretty fun) campaign to change the search results for Santorum’s name. Go over to Spreading Santorum for the full story, but for a long time, that was the #1 result when you searched for Santorum.

Now that Santorum is a candidate, the site has gotten more attention again, but it’s fallen in the ranking of search results. Already people are claiming that Santorum successfully pressured Google to change its results and drop the Spreading site. I doubt this is true for a variety of reasons.

1. Google may cave to political pressure in other countries (albeit with some transparency about why, how and how it can be tracked), but I do have a really hard time believing that they’d do something like this for a US candidate for president. It would be a PR nightmare, and they know it.

2. There’s a lot more linkage to Santorum’s own candidacy site, his Wikipedia page and other more official sites than ever before. This is going to affect everyone’s search results to some degree, in part because of the timing. I’m sure a lot of the links to Spreading Santorum are older, and the links to the official pages are newer. This changes search results to reflect the current state of the web as it grows/evolves.

3. Finally, there’s the issue that all of our search results are individualized, based on our prior search history, our social connections in places like Google+, and much more. If I google “Deanna,” I’m the 3rd most popular Deanna in the world. If someone else who doesn’t know me, who doesn’t have a connection to me, googles “Deanna,” they might not see me. (Before personalized search results, I was at least in the top ten, haha.) So in this case, when I google “Santorum,” it’s still result #4 for me. That might not be true for others.

Just another day clarifying before we totally run down the rabbit hole of technology conspiracies. :-)

Lessons from the Susan G Komen Foundation/Planned Parenthood firestorm: What other non-profits can– and can’t– take away

Introduction

There are a lot of ways to cover the Komen/PP firestorm–too many, in fact. For the purposes of my work here, I’m going to focus on what made this brouhaha different than any other concerning Planned Parenthood, the lessons learned if you’re on the defensive, and the lessons learned if you’re on the offensive.

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On CBC: Komen, Planned Parenthood and the power of social media

My segment starts at 38min 37sec; I come on at 41min.

Exciting news: Social media for social justice workshop in San Francisco, March 5

I’m really psyched to announce that in partnership with my speaking agency, Aid & Abet, I’m launching a series of boot camps across the country. Our pilot is in San Francisco on March 5, 2012:

You know about social media. You know that you’ve got to get on board with it for your organization, or for your own activist work. You may have even signed up for Twitter or Facebook already, but you don’t know where to start. What are the right tools to use? What do I say? Why are other people doing this? And, perhaps, most importantly: how the hell do I know if it’s working?!

View the full event page for the whole description and pricing information, and to register. We’re also offering scholarships for those in need.

WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SO MUCH FUN.

Oh, and speaking of need, I should mention how this idea came about– a lot of people come to Jen Angel (of Aid & Abet) and I looking for a hands-on workshop, but can’t afford to bring me into their organization or event. This workshop will get folks who need it the most, working on the front lines, the skills they need without emptying their budgets.

Based on how things go in SF, I’ll be offering this boot camp in other cities (likely next up will be NYC and DC), and possibly online. If you’re interested helping to host one in other cities, please let us know– leave a comment below or send me an email. And, if you’re interested in bringing me to your organization for a group training or strategy session, drop Jen a line.

How not to do outreach for your project or passion on Twitter

Increasingly, I’m getting mentions from people with whom I’m not familiar, asking to click on links to their work. I see this happening to my friends, too, so I thought I’d collect and share my responses to one Twitter user on why this doesn’t work that well.

This isn’t a criticism of anyone’s projects– I’m sure they’re fabulous! — but rather an offer of help on how to get people to look at stuff.
.@gbedard1 ok, time for some free advice. People pay thousands for this (or they just buy my book, haha), so take notes:
randomdeanna
September 9, 2011
.@gbedard1 I don’t have a relationship to you or your work, so randomly tweeting me isn’t going to make me click your link
randomdeanna
September 9, 2011
.@gbedard1 when I check out who you are, I see you’re randomly tweeting a lot of ppl, so now you kinda look like a spammer. oh noes!
randomdeanna
September 9, 2011
.@gbedard1 Twitter isn’t a shortcut to popularity. It’s a means to build relationships.
randomdeanna
September 9, 2011
.@gbedard1 So start getting to know the ppl whose attention you want, and let them get to know you. *Then* pitch them shamelessly. :) /end
randomdeanna
September 9, 2011

 UPDATE: I got a little swipe about my ego being too big to click on links. Granted, my ego is ginormous (ask anyone who knows me intimately offline), but for once, it doesn’t have much to do with the situation at hand. I’m just explaining here how important the relationship mechanism is for sharing information– it’s called “social” media for a reason. Tee hee.

The trouble with Google+

I’m concerned about some initial sociologial (versus technological) trends I’m seeing on Google+. Admittedly, I haven’t played around with it too much — I still like Twitter and Facebook, since people with whom I have high-value relationships participate heavily there. Google+ is more a novelty (and a necessity for me to figure out for my clients). And frankly, while I know lots of people love the Circles — for the non-Google+-er, those are groups in which you have to put people — I’m overwhelmed by having to choose where I want to put every single person in whom I have some semblence of interest. The implications of Circles could be a whole ‘nother post, so I’ll leave it at that.

What I’ve found troublesome so far is that the atmosphere/culture Google+ has far less “personality” than the other services do. I don’t see as much intimate content there (yet?) as I do other services. And the intimate content that is posted there doesn’t seem to resonate as much with readers.

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Obligatory Google+ post

There’s a new social networking service in town. It’s called Google+/Google Plus. The beta isn’t fully open to the public yet.

There’s a lot of nerdy/media-y navel-gazing going on there right now.

There will be advantages to businesses, political organizations and non-profits down the road.

There are some features “stolen” from other social networks; others are brand new. Users will like some things and hate others.

The end.

Social media reactions to bin Laden’s death

I’ve got a full work plate this morning, and my own set of feelings to process about the news of Osama bin Laden’s death (more on that will likely appear on my Tumblr later tonight), but wanted to get down a couple noteworthy bullets. If I have time, I’ll return and flesh these out into a coherent piece.

  • We all know that social media get the word out at lightning speed–but what struck me most about this news was not the speed of information, but the immediacy of community development. People are using Twitter and Facebook to work out what are, for many, complicated emotions. Relief, joy, anger, sadness are all appearing at once. This is in stark contrast to what we often see in traditional media soundbites (particularly video media), where broad strokes are painted when it comes to emotional content–i.e., those people are cheering, those people over there are not. Social media is creating a space where it’s acceptable, and useful, to express multiple feelings. This is also very different than, for example, the days following 9/11–when the war on Afghanistan was announced, it was largely extremely taboo in American public squares (online or off) to express concern, or disagreement. Part of that was the political climate, but part of that was that there weren’t necessary effective public spaces for people to be nuanced human beings.
  • I’m also struck by the speed with humor was employed as a tactic to process the news. Again, in contrast to 9/11, when we waited two weeks for the new issue of The Onion to come out–no one made any jokes before then. Not only was it taboo, but there just wasn’t a way to deal. (By the way, that issue of The Onion might be the best one ever–headlines like, “God Angrily Clarifies ‘Don’t Kill’ Rule, “Hijackers Surprised To Find Selves in Hell,” and many more gems.) Last night, some of the immediate jokes, some in good taste, some not, clearly paved a way for people to express all kinds of reactions to this global news phenomenon. My personal favorites were @marcfaletti‘s “It was that f***ing iPad location history, wasn’t it?” and the newly created @OsamaInHell account tweeting, “Wait, what?”

More as time allows today…

Case study in social media for social justice: Exhale’s “16 & Loved” campaign

I had a perfect storm of a project recently, and decided to write it up as a case study in how to manage a short-term social media campaign. I’ll discuss tools, tactics and metrics — hope you find it useful!


At the beginning of December, Aspen Baker, the executive director of Exhale, wrote me an email. “I’m looking for a social media coordinator and web person for a short-term project,” she said. “Interested?” I’ve always been a fan of Aspen’s work at Exhale — they’re a nonprofit organization which provides the first and only nonjudgmental national, multilingual after-abortion talkline. One of the things I love most about Exhale, which I learned largely through their campaign, is their advocacy of “pro-voice” in dealing with abortion. Every woman’s voice deserves to be heard; women (in numerous political contexts) don’t need to be talked at, shamed, have numbers and percentages thrown at them as much as they need to be listened to, and told that they are loved.

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